Lime, the brand responsible for planting drive-and-drop electric scooters across the world, is taking ownership of the criticism directed at its light vehicles and riders through a print campaign launching in Paris.
Lime and its e-scooter rivals such as Bird have come under immeasurable international criticism in their early years. Critics point to the unsightly ‘dumping’ of scooters, the cluttering of streets, riders’ illegal use of pavements and the dangers they pose when merging with traffic.
Now, Lime’s French operation has taken these outbursts of frustration, such as “Shitty scooters!” and “These scooters are such a fucking pain” and turned them into its latest campaign, as part of its repositioning as a ‘responsible urban mobility leader’.
Working with Parisian agency Buzzman, the brand used an asterisk to double grammatical effect: censor the swear words and add extra information about the best way to use its scooters.
‘Shitty scooters!’ for instance, becomes ‘Sh*tty scooters! (*not applicable for scooters that stay off the sidewalk)’ and “Scooters really piss me off” becomes ‘Scooters really p*ss me off (*not applicable to riders who respect pedestrians)’.
Lime said it felt “compelled” to educate its users and encourage better behaviour on the roads, in order to put a pin in the mounting criticism over its operating model.
“Since arriving in Paris almost a year ago, Lime has been driven by a long-term vision and by the ambition to play a responsible role as a leader of new mobility,” said Arthur-Louis Jacquier, general manager of Lime in France. “This campaign is a part of that responsibility to the community and aims to support our ... measures addressing key rider and city issues.
“We wanted to show the people of Paris that we understand different concerns they have with rider behaviour across all types of scooters – not just Lime – and we believe using humour helps make that connection in a positive way.”
The campaign is currently live in Paris and will eventually been extend into other French cities. It is unclear if this campaign of admission will go live elsewhere, with Jacquier noting: “Each market has different concerns when it comes to shared mobility solutions and this campaign is focused on France.
“ We are always open to exploring the roll out of campaigns, new ideas, and educational programs in other markets to further our commitment to improving urban life.”